Your main inspiration: I am constantly inspired to present an alternative Arab narrative. Even as a child pre-9/11, that was my driving force and one of the reasons I was willing to be in the public eye: to present an alternative image of Muslims and Arabs. Then after university, this was also the reason I was inspired to return to the Middle East. I moved back to invest in cultivating the performing arts scene, to revive our ancient oral traditions and create contemporary narratives as well.
Your biggest challenge: Persevering through countless criticism and people who told me to “grow up” and get a “real job” i.e. work in an office, and keep acting as a hobby. It took about a decade for my parents to get comfortable with the idea that this is my calling in life, that the arts are where I shine and how I give back to the world.
For more info – www.danadajani.com